D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Chancellor Excited About New Year, PARCC Scores

On Monday, 102 schools opened their doors for the first day of school, following 13 extended-year schools that opened earlier this month.

In the new school year, DCPS will focus on excellence and equity in the classroom by better preparing students for success in college and career, expanding opportunities for middle school students, providing additional supports to Opportunity Academies and investing more in students of color.

Data from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the last school term shows the schools system making record gains on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, increasing by 6.4 percentage points in English language arts and 3.5 percentage points in math in 2017.

“I’m thrilled that our students are already off to a strong start this school year. DCPS’ 2017 PARCC scores show that students made tremendous progress,” said Chancellor Antwan Wilson. “As we turn to this upcoming school year, we’re even more focused on ensuring that each one of our students has the necessary supports they need to succeed. From embracing social emotional learning to developing our talented educators to engaging families, we know we have a great school year ahead of us to continue this trend of improvement.”

Mayor Celebrates 2017-18 Academic Year

Mayor Muriel Bowser joins school officials in welcoming students back to school, and according to Bowser, the DCPS family has a lot to look forward to as the 2017-18 year begins:

• School officials recently announced a tentative contract with the Washington Teachers’ Union that includes a significant salary increase for our DCPS educators;
• Chancellor Wilson is beginning his first full school year leading DCPS; and
• Through investments DCPS made earlier this year, course offerings and extracurricular options will expand at middle and high schools in every ward.

In addition, Bowser’s administration has launched a new academic initiative, “Every Day Counts,” which works through a multi-agency public awareness campaign to address chronic absenteeism and give all families access to resources to ensure that students get to school every day on time.

Public Charter Schools Excel on PARCC

Students in D.C. Public Charter Schools have continued to improve on the nationwide PARCC test.

This is the 10th consecutive year public charter school students have shown steady improvement on the statewide assessment, first on the DC-CAS and more recently the PARCC.

According to data released by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 30 percent of public charter school students achieved 4 or 5 on the English Language Arts assessment in grades 3-8 and 22 percent in high school. On the Math assessment, 28 percent achieved 4 or 5 in grades 3-8 and 14 percent in high school.

“This is good news for families in the District of Columbia,” said Scott Pearson, executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board. “While these PARCC results show steady improvement from year to year, we still have more work to do to ensure every student is getting the best education. We will keep improving the educational options available to DC students and their families.”

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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